Fiio M3K ( Roundup Review)

Are you annoying to google the Fiio M3K review and read them everywhere ? 

If yes, you are at the right place. 

Following you can find all the reviews of Fiio M3k, including the article review and Youtube video review.  

Note: Xtenik just collected all the summary from other sites, if you want to read the full review, just click the button, it will redirect you to the original article.

Article Review 

Headfonics Review

The UI

FiiO’s budget models are always basic in setup and flow. That is what I would think the general consumer would want in their experience. 

But, not what the typical audiophile would want. Sadly, the EQ experience is severely lacking on the M3K, as it offers no custom options and just a few presets, all of which I am very unfond of. But, that is entirely subjective.

It is one of the first instances where I vastly prefer EQ totally disabled and running on a flat experience. 

To my ear, everything is sonically superior with EQ entirely disabled on the M3K. I am not complaining much though, I’ll get more into this in just a bit with regard to overall response tonality and how EQ plays a part in that. For now, the user interface is comprised of just a few subset folders. Believe it or not, I really prefer this simplicity over anything complex.

Just give me an All folder, so I can shuffle all tracks, give me a basic Artists and Album folder area too. Beyond that, just one Favorites menu is all I ever really needed. Thankfully, the Favorite menu is accessed through one of the few primary folders and not hidden somewhere.

fiio-m3k-1

( Image Credit: Headfonics) 

Right now, I am reviewing the $1,299USD Colorfly U8 DAP, which has a very strange placement area for their favorites men which seems to want to delete itself if I remove the sd card.

However and thankfully, the M3K retains my favorites list that I’ve set up even after removing the sd card. Some DAP’s out there auto-reset that, so be careful.

Thephonograph.net

Menu
 
The user interface of the FiiO M3K has 5 main menu categories: Browse Files, Category, Recording, Play settings, System settings.
 
  • Browse Files: allows to navigate the contents of the micro SD card in a folder view and order – users preferring to organize their files by folder will be glad with this navigation option
  • Category: navigation is done through the id3 tags by: all songs, artist, album, genre, favorites, playlists, recently added.
  • Recording: menu to start recording mp3 files with the incorporated microphone
  • Play settings: configuration menu with all the settings related with playback such as gapeless playback, balance, volume limit, etc.
  • System settings: access to settings of the device such as brightness, USB mode, language, date, factory restore, etc.
The music playing screen shows varied information, including: album cover image, song name, play mode, elapsed time, track duration, number of track (x/x). Further details about the file can be accessed from the additional menu pressing the button with the 3 parallel lines. The additional information showed includes: file name, artist name, album name, album name, kHz, bits, track duration and file size.
 
The top bar of the screen has a smartphone like design with the clock time on the center, volume level (in numbers that ranges from 0 to 60), a card inserted confirmation icon and the battery charge with a 5-bar icon.

Moonstar Review

Hardware and Software Features:
 
1. Hardware:
 
The FiiO M3K is the entry devices of the M Series Portable Audio Player of this company, but has some nice hardware specs and features that I want to share know with you.
  1. Processor:
Under the hood of the FiiO M3K is the X1000 CPU of the company Ingenic Semiconductor with a processor speed of 1.0 GHz. It has a very energy efficient MIPS32 XBurst RISC core with double precision hardware float point unit for low power consumption.
Processor
(Image credit: Moonstar Review) 
 
b. DAC Section:
 
The FiiO M3K sports an AK4376A DAC (Digital to Analog Converters) of the company Asahi Kasei. This 32-bit advanced Digital to Analog converter with a headphone amplifier is a higher performing solution of the AK4375A that is adopted by many portable audio products since it was launched in 2014.
 
The AK4376A achieves -107dB THD+N and 125dB SNR, the best performance in the field as a compact DAC with headphone amplifier for portable audio products.
 
The digital input format corresponds to high resolution sound sources and supports PCM input up to 384 kHz. The AK4376 is housed in an ultra-small 36-pin CSP package (2.74mm x 2.56mm), enabling premium performance in a very small footprint. It is ideal for audio devices with Hi-Fi function such as portable music players and headphones.

Soundnews.net

Build quality & Design
 
Without a doubt in the development cycle of M3K a big emphasis was put on design and at finding the right selection of materials in its construction.
 
This time around the case is entirely made of anodized aluminum and the front panel is made out of tempered glass for a superior scratch and shock resistance.
 
From my point of view M3K looks much more elegant, simple and modern than its predecessor.
fiio-m3k-1
( Image Credit: Soundnews)
 
Physically it is smaller than X1-II but a bit bigger than M3, here’s a photo of the three siblings.
 
M3K together with other 2 devices represent the smallest Hi-Res DAPs we have tested that I consider to be truly portable and pocketable comparing to other heavy weight category of DAPs we have tested in the past.
 
M3K feels great in the hand and can be easily operated one handed due to the touch panel on the front and to all buttons conveniently moved to the left.
 
Besides the On/Off, R/F and Play/Pause buttons there is a standard 3.5 mm phone jack on the bottom, a microSD card slot and a microUSB jack for data transfer and charging.
 
M3K doesn’t have internal memory, music can be stored only on the microSD cards, theoretically up to 2 Tb cards are supported, we used a 128 GB Sandisk Ultra with great success.

Head-fi

Sound Quality
 
Main gears used: iBasso IT01 and IT01s, FLC 8N, Custom Art Fibae 3, Meze 99 Classics, Periodic Audio Be.
 
DAPs: xDuoo X3, Nano D3, Shanling M0, Lotoo Pico, iBasso DX120.
 
Overall the M3K has a rather neutral sound presentation in a very smooth and linear way. It is not a warm sounding DAP but there’s a faint sense of musicality and hint of sweetness that goes on the midrange with some emphasis on vocals, and little bit elevation on the lower treble.
 
Bass is very neutral and linear with decent grade of resolution for the price.
 
Quantity wise, it is small with not much impact and attack power, easily perceived with dark or warmer earphones; a good thing as it doesn’t add color to the sound, but does limit the fun factor.
 
As for quality, it has very good control and flat texture, average layering with no much dynamics. The speed is normal with quick decay, but not to be paired with fast balanced armature drivers or higher end stuff. The extension is decent without much rumble. Overall it is clean and detailed bass response.
 
The midrange is probably the most favorable part out the M3K.
 
Well balanced on the whole from low to upper mids, mostly neutral if just a little bit north of. Clean thanks to the softer bass emphasis, fairly natural in timbre and very smooth. Clarity is good, not missing much of micro detail considering the price; not cold or leaner type of tonality, with a bit of musicality flavor.
 
Separation is decent, nothing outstanding but fair enough, though instruments can sound too soft and light. On the other hand, the M3K adds some delicate hint of sweetness to vocals; not too thick with more mid-centered sets and yet less distant with more v-shaped options. More enjoyable, nonetheless, especially with female singers, and good for modern pop or rock, if less favorable for classic or orchestral pieces.
 
The treble continues the neutral formula, not as reserved as the bass, but overall smooth and safe. Limited on the upper extension, yet keeps good level of resolution. Balanced giving a slight brightness to the lower treble region. The control is surprisingly good; not missing the attack and bite when paired with brighter earphones but retains the overall musicality.
 
Soundstage is about average, which is fine for a budget player.
 
Not my option for open headphones or mid-level IEMs, but okay for closed sets and many IEMs on the $200 and below. With the bit of forward midrange the presentation is more intimate; again, great match for vocal oriented music. Nevertheless, the overall natural timbre and delicate sense of musicality make a good deal out of the M3K.
 
Driving power is good for anything that’s easy to drive.
 
The specs are more ‘honest’ with the recommended impedance going just up to ~100 ohm, not overrating the player capabilities.
 
The M3K can get loud enough with most of the IEMs I could try (some listed above) with just 20 volume steps. With larger headphones like the Meze 99 had to raise the volume to around 35~40, and still didn’t reach half of full volume steps.
 
The differences from one to step to another are easy noticed, and with more sensitive IEMs it may be either a bit too loud or too low, but apart from that it’s comfortable with most gears used on the go.
 

Porta.fi

Usability
 
Equipped with the Ingenic X1000 SoC, the M3K performs brilliantly, most noticeably how little time is taken to boot up as well as to scan a full 400gb microSD card at the start of the review. I was up and running playing music from a properly indexed catalogue within 50 seconds of pressing the power button. Amazing!
 
On the M3K, FiiO chose to incorporate a 2-inch non-touch TFT IPS screen with a capacitative touch panel which features a centre scrollbar and four touch buttons for user interactivity.
 
Like its predecessor, the M3K runs on Linux which is customised for the device. It is heartening to note the software engineers at FiiO have interfaced the modern and minimalistic UI well with the touch panel, allowing one to scroll through the menu by moving the finger up and down the scrollbar coupled with selection by tapping on the scroll bar.
 
While it is intuitive and simple to use, this could be further improved if one could adjust the sensitivity of the touchpad and perhaps have the ability to customise one of the four buttons to suit individual preferences.
 
What I really like about the M3K is the lock screen implementation which is automatically activated when idling or when you press the power button once. This ensures that your music playback is not accidentally disrupted by any accidental key press. The keylock can also be easily disabled by simply pressing the power button once or slide down the scroll bar once.

Makaitechreviews

Neat features
 
The device is capable to work not just as a music player, but also as a portable DAC, just like an external sound card. Just allow it in the settings and enable DAC mode, and you are good to go. By default, it is set as storage mode, so easy file transfer from your computer, or even from your phone. Yes, you can transfer music from your phone as well. Pretty neat feature! Thumbs up for that as well!
 
System update
 
Before I went deep enough to the controls and setting, I did a full system update. The method of the update is quite simple. I had to download one file from the official support page, copy it to the MicroSD card, and power up the device while holding the power and volume up button. The device unzips the whole firmware package and updates itself. Pretty straightforward.
fiio-m3k-4
fiio-m3k-5
( Image Credit:Makaitechreviews)
 
Menu and navigation
 
The menu is logically well built, and easy to navigate in it. The FiiO M3K is capable to play most of the standard audio formats, from WAV, MP3 and FLAC to DSD64. Sadly no DSD128 support, but keep in mind this is an entry level Hi-RES audio player. Besides playback, it is also capable to record audio, which can be really handy for students to record lessons, or take voice notes. The record is compressed with MP3, with a reasonably good quality.
 
Sound quality
 
Speaking of sound quality, let’s talk about that. For the best possible sound reproduction, I used the FiiO FH1, and I have to say the sound reproduction was clearly the next step from any mobile phone, or MP3 player I ever tested.
 
I am nowhere near to any audio expert, but to try to compare between different audio types, I copied 3 different one to the player. Earlier I have experienced what a FLAC file can represent but never heard any DSD file. Until now. Between the 3 types, every step was a very nice leap, a huge from MP3 to FLAC, and a slightly big step from FLAC to DSD.
 

Accessibleaudio

User Interface and Operation
 
There are 4 physical buttons on the left edge of the FiiO M3K. The topmost is for power – apart from merely turning on the device, it can also be pressed twice to unlock the screen. The next two are for Volume Up and Down, and the last is a multifunction OK/Pause/Play button.
The capacitive touch buttons look cool, and the backlighting also makes it easy to see even in the dark. It was straightforward for me to understand how the navigation works – scroll up and down to navigate through vertical lists, swipe left and right to navigate through horizontal lists, and tap the centre area to confirm/press OK.
 
My only small gripe was that it was easy to overshoot the list item that I wanted to reach, as the scrolling gesture was actually a little too sensitive. If you’re used to capacitive buttons on Android devices which often give a haptic feedback, there is no such feature here – this is a very budget priced device after all.
fiio-m3k-2
( Image Credit: accessibleaudio)
 
The Equalizer function was somewhat disappointing, as I remember having more EQ tweaking and control on a Rockbox modded First Generation iPod Nano.
 
The EQ function on the FiiO M3K basically consists of 5 different presets – Rock, Vocal, Pop, Classical, and Techno that adjusts a 5 Band Equalizer. Despite the fact that the dB values of each frequency were pushed quite a lot, it was hard to hear a huge difference between each setting, and it also significantly reduced the overall volume every time I used any of the EQ settings which was very strange.
 

Headpie

Sound
 
I used the usual 16/44 Flac files and a variety of earphones and comparisons with other daps in my stable to get to the root of just what this US$69.00 dap by FiiO was offering and where it fit in within the current line up.
 
The FiiO M3K is definitely an entry level device more designed for the casual listener in my view, it does perform well in that sound is satisfying but may not make the mark for any audiophiles who like to spend upwards of $500 on their earphones or head phones, it just does not have that super finer detail and resolution of more expensive daps. But of course, its US$69.99.
 
But with that caveat, it is not a slouch in the sound department either.
 
I mainly used the Campfire Audio Andromeda as it is a good reference to use and I am very familiar with it, even though the price between the two is US$1000.
 
The M3K is fairly neutral in he sound department, no real emphasis or coloration on the lows/mids/treble etc. And thats how it generally should be , and is these days. Of course one can add a lil of this and that via the EQ or ideally by the earphones and tips chosen. The dap would hopefully be the tabula rasa in the equation these days.
 
With that said I am enjoying the tonality and the female vocals, sound stage is a bit more smaller on the Andromedas and they do not reach their full potential as expected, but still the sound is unexpectedly good.
 
It could have a bit more body and depth to the bass, but the realism is there. Mids come across natural/warm and complement the vocals, the vocals can appear forward at times, treble is quite beautiful and one of the highlights.
 

FAQ

My car has a USB interface that syncs with my iPod, that I use to play tunes while I drive. Does this device work using that sort of thing?
 
If I get your right, your car basically read everything from the device and the car is able to control the player. Honestly, I don’t think this is capable to do such a thing, but if your car can read out the files from for example a USB stick, this can also work like that. Or another method can play music via AUX, but then you can’t control the music from your car, only from the player (as a typical method but not the most comfortable one)
 
How can one transfer files from iTunes on an iMac onto this device? My iPod get the entire library transferred automatically. Thank you!
 
I don’t think you can do such a thing – by that I mean sync. The “easiest” method is to simply plug this onto your iMac (it should detect as a storage device) on your iTunes press right click on the Album you want to transfer and select -> (reveal file location in Finder – or something like that) Drag and drop the folder onto the player, and you are good to go.
 
Is the included cable an otg cable?
 
Yes it is
 
i have a question: if i play a song from the card and turn off the player when i turn it on it plays from where i was listening the last song?
 
I don’t think there’s even one player who does that. If you send it to sleep obviously it continues where you left, but switching completely off means you start from the main menu when power it back on. Anyway, I just tested it for you to be 100% sure. 🙂
 
Is it possible to navigate on the directory of the storage card?
 
Yes, simply use the “browse” menu.
 
How do you download your non-mp3 files? And I’m not sure if this is a thing, but is there a way to put a DAC to my phone and play hi quality music from spotify?
 
D Lossless files are quite popular in many online music stores, or there are dark sides of the internet where you can get those, but that is obviously piracy so can’t help with that one. 🙂
 
About your DAC question, there is a DAC (or several DACs) in every single digital audio player (phone in this case).
 
What it does it CONVERTS your DIGITAL signal to ANALOG signal (Digital-to-Analog Converter – DAC). Since human hearing is analog, we have to convert it somehow, and this is where DAC chip(s) comes in the picture. 🙂 The quality and capabilities mostly depend on what type of chip you have in your device. These capabilities are like sampling rate, max channels, dynamic range and so on. If you are not satisfied with your phones DAC you can bypass it with external devices like FiiO Q1 Mark II. Hope this helps. 
 
For the Spotify question. The bottleneck will be Spotify streaming bitrate and compression. Yet premium users can stream in 320kbps, I’m pretty sure those are compressed lossy files (mp3 maybe – I don’t know), so no matter what you add to your system it won’t affect much.
 
Is the device macbook compatible and, similarly, are you able to transfer playlists across? This looks ideal for my needs (gym/exercise), but only if I can actually get music/playlists onto it!
 
Yes, it is compatible with both PC or MAC. If you connect it to a mac, the storage shows up like any other external storage and can manually edit anything on it.
 
Fiio m3k vs fiio x1 2nd gen which one is better?
 
Different market and a different target. M3K got DSD support, X1 got Bluetooth. M3K got USB DAC feature, X1 doesn’t. The DAC is also better and newer in the M3K than the X1 II gen got. M3K seems a better deal, but if you need Bluetooth option X1 still a good choice.
 
Can you watch videos like movies using this mp3?
 
No it cant. It is purely an Audio player.
 
Fiio m3k with Xiaomi Hydrid Pro HD, is this a good combo?
 
Read many good things about the Hybrid Pro, so yeah, it can be a decent mix.
 
I have seen 3 categories for cuality audio; SQ HR and DSD. For a song to be HR in this fiio m3k, does it have to be 24 bit/44 khz or at least 24 bit/96khz. Also for the category of SQ; mp3 320 kbps or 16 bit/44.?
 
MP3 / 303 kbps (ABR) / 44100 Hz / 16bit – No badge display (seems SQ badge needs at least over 320 kbps)
FLAC / 616 kbps (ABR) / 44100 Hz / 16bit – SQ badge
FLAC / 675 kbps (ABR) / 44100 Hz / 16 bit- SQ badge
FLAC / 2481 kbps / 96000 Hz / 24 bit – HR badge
FLAC / 613 kbps / 44100 Hz / 16 bit – SQ badge
FLAC / 1241 kbps / 44100 Hz / 24 bit – SQ badge (seems needs to be 96KHz to claim as HR)
 
Does the player has blue-tooth to play on Bose speaker?
 
Sadly no Bluetooth. The FiiO M7 is a slightly better player with Bluetooth option as well, with several useful protocols.
 
Could you tell me what languages he has?
 
Chinese/English/French/German/Japanese/Korean/Russian/Spanish/Italian/Hindi
 
Fiio M3K or the xduo x3 gen 2 ?
 
xDuoo X3 II can playback DSD128 files. The UI on the FiiO is much better, but xDuoo X3 II is more advanced in terms of music playback capabilities. If you plan to play MP3/FLAC files go with the cheaper one since both are decent with lossy files, but xDuoo has simply a better playback option, but with an ugly UI.
 
Is there USB-C ?
 
No USB-C.
 
Above FAQ Source
 
 
 
Do the usb dac works on linux / android phone ?
 
I didn’t test with Linux/Android, so I can’t 100% guarantee that, but most probably it should, USB Audio is pretty much standard now
 
Does this player support Spotify and/or Tidal?
 
of course no
 
This or the Shanling M0 or the Hidizs Ap60 II??
 
it depends on your sonic preferences and your need of features like bluetooth
 
sonically, Hidizs is better, but that’s my opinion, there are people who prefer M0, but for me it sounds flat and artificial
 
Fiio M3K or X1 II?the diference of sound is high?
 
they have different output power first of all, X1-2 is more powerful. so for power-hungry headphones it will be betteron normal headphones and IEMs it depends on your preferences, M3K will be better if you’d like neutral sound, X1-2 — is a bit warmer and bassy
 
X3 III or M3k?
 
if you need more power or want more detailed and a bit brighter signature, then X3-3, if you need more battery life time and more “balanced” sig — M3K
 
How does this compare to the x1 series?
 
Max Isenberg but less bassy and more neutral
 
Some user reviews indicate that they can not see all the music they transfer to the micro sd. For example one of 512gb with 10,000 songs and only 2,500 songs can be seen. Is it a limit that the player has?
 
sorry, I don’t have big SD cards, so I can’t tell for sure. my 64 Gb with about 2K songs works OK, and bigger cards are not convenient for me, navigation with 10K songs without sensor screen looks like a huge pain in the … for me (it’s my subjective opinion)
 
anyway, there definitely can be some limit, but it’s a question to be addressed to FiiO’s support
 
Above FAQ Source
 
 
 
 

Youtube Review

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8CY-SAApYc ( Can $70 really get you into lossless audio, or is it too good to be true? By Super Review)
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBFYdyULza8 ( Having questions? Leave a comment, MakaiTechReviews is also very active in replying questions. )
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAF5zuXIwAM ( Unboxing and Review in Telugu)
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rx46rGEsHGk ( Porta.fi is the one of the most active hifi reviewer on Youtube)
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydgW2u7YrMgBad Guy Good Audio Reviews
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrndlNIjnss (A simple video introduction By Headfonics )